AstraZeneca Withdraws COVID Vaccine Worldwide

AstraZeneca Withdraws COVID Vaccine Worldwide
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The Facts

  • Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Tuesday announced that it's withdrawing its COVID vaccine globally, citing low demand and a "surplus of available updated vaccines."

  • The decision comes months after the company admitted in court documents that the shot can cause a rare and dangerous side effect that leads to blood clots and low blood platelet counts.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine was a successful breakthrough that saved millions of lives and allowed many countries to survive a global pandemic. The pharmaceutical company should be very proud of its product, and there's nothing wrong with admitting that newer vaccines are better equipped to combat new COVID variants. As the COVID outbreak drifts deeper into the past, vaccine demand has slowed, meaning there's less need for numerous vaccine manufacturers.

Establishment-critical narrative

After riding the wave of a Big Pharma response to the pandemic, the COVID vaccine bubble has finally burst economically and AstraZeneca is just one of many companies plunging off the "COVID cliff." AstraZeneca's public relations issues with vaccine side effects are secondary to the real reason it's walking away from COVID response — this was always about riding the waves of the market. The firm cashed in on a windfall and now Big Pharma is moving on.

Metaculus Prediction

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